Teaching your horse to willingly put the bit in their own mouth is easily done using positive reinforcement and shaping. Positive reinforcement is something added to the horse's environment that makes a behaviour more likely to happen again in the future. In horse training, it is usually a small tidbit of tasty food, given immediately after a desired behaviour occurs. Shaping means to take a complex end goal behaviour, like having a horse put a bit in their own mouth, and br
Good horse training involves not only identifying training goals, but also where to begin.
After all, if you don't know where the horse is starting from, how can you make a plan to train them? You might want your horse to load in the trailer, or to consistently change leads when cued. Maybe you want to canter bareback and bridleless. Or you just want to halter break your filly. It's relatively easy to identify end goals when training horses, and it's important to do so - bu
Shaping is the act of reinforcing small steps that progressively lead towards an end goal. The end goal of shaping can be relatively simple, or very complex. Do you want to teach a horse to lift a hoof, or do a flying lead change? Both end goals can be done using shaping. You can write a shaping plan down, listing each step towards your end goal, or you can just have a rough plan in your head. Each step in a shaping plan is a 'successive approximation' - a small step that lo